Bolivia’s Constituent Assembly, charged with rewriting the country’s constitution by December 14th, has suspended its work indefinitely. Campesinos and other indigenous groups plan to march through the streets of Sucre peacefully to advocate national unity. But what’s does national unity mean when the MAS party, the party of the president, changes the assembly rules, so that they can unilaterally vote on changes and amendments.
The always insightful MABB Blog, has been keeping an eye on the rising tensions in Sucre, and documents the actions of the MAS in the Constituent Assembly.
It seems as though, MAS, in addition to having angered the Sucre citizens by arbitrarily removing the motion to debate the move of the seat of government, are getting ready to go ahead an approve their proposed constitution using their majority votes. An action which is widely repudiated, not only by the opposition, but also by the citizens of Sucre.
And, to add what comes across to me as a little paranoia, the President threatens to take action against "foreign diplomats who become involved in Bolivian politics," accusing the USA of funding the opposition. Its not foreign meddling when Castro or Chavez do it? It’s naive to call out the US, but par for the course. I think its mostly rhetoric for his supporters, something like a wedge issue to keep the us-vs-them mentality and deepen divisions in the country.
He added that while his government would be patient with foreign governments, "at any time we will make radical decisions against those ambassadors who are always provoking us."
The tension is so bad that a brawl broke out:
Is there a solution? Will the country look to a military coup to impose order, or is there still hope for coming to a consensus everyone can live with?